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Deep vers’d in books and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,
And trifles for choice matters, worth a spunge;
As children gathering pebbles on the shore. 330
Or if I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem, where so soon
As in our native language can I find
That solace? All our law and story strow'd
With hymns, our psalms with artful terms inscrib’d,
Our Hebrew songs and harps in Babylon, 336
That pleas'd so well our victors ear, declare
That rather Greece from us these arts deriv’d;
Ill imitated, while they loudest sing
The vices of their Deities, and their own 340
In fable, hymn, or song, so personating
Their Gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithets thick laid
As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,
Thin sown with ought of profit or delight, 345
Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is prais'd aright, and God-like men,
The Holiest of Holies, and his Saints ;
Such are from God inspir’d, not such from thee, 350
Unless where moral virtue is express’d
By light of nature not in all quite lost.
Their orators thou then extoll’st, as those
The top of eloquence, statists indeed,


And lovers of their country, as may seem; 355
But herein to our prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government
In their majestic unaffected Nile
Than all the oratory of Greece and Rome. 360
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy', and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
These only with our law best form a king.

So spake the Son of God; but Satan now 365
Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent,
Thus to our Saviour with stern brow reply'd.

Since neither wealth, nor honor, arms nor arts, Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor ought By me propos'd in life contemplative, 370 Or active, tended on by glory', or fame, What dost thou in this world? the wilderness For thee is fittest place; I found thee there, And thither will return thee; yet remember What I foretel thee, soon thou shalt have cause 375 To wish thou never hadît rejected thus Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid, Which would have set thee in short time with ease On David's throne, or throne of all the world, Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season, 380 When prophecies of thee are best fulfill’d. Now contrary, if I read ought in Heaven,


Or Heav’n write ought of fate, by what the stars
Voluminous, or single characters,
In their conjunction met, give me to spell, 385
Sorrows, and labors, opposition, hate
Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death;
A kingdom they portend thee, but what kingdom,
Real or allegoric I discern not,

Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,
Without beginning; for no date prefix’d
Directs me in the starry rubric set.

So say'ing he took (for still he knew his power Not yet expir’d) and to the wilderness 395 Brought back the Son of God, and left him there, Feigning to disappear. Darkness now rose, As day-light sunk, and brought in louring night Her shadowy ofspring, insubstantial both, Privation mere of light and absent day. 400 Our Saviour meek and with untroubled mind After his aery jaunt, though hurried sore, Hungry and cold betook him to his rest, Wherever, under some concourse of shades, 404 Whose branching arms thick interwin'dmightshield From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head, But shelter'd slept in vain, for at his head The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams Disturb'd his sleep; and either tropic now 409 "Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the clouds


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From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd
Fierce rain with lightning mix’d, water with fire
In ruin reconcil'd: nor slept the winds
Within their stony caves, but rush'd abroad
From the four hinges of the world, and fell 415
On the vex'd wilderness, whose tallest pines,
Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest oaks
Bow'd their stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts,
Or torn up sheer: ill wast thou shrouded then,
O patient Son of God, yet only stood's 420
Unshaken; nor yet stay'd the terror there,
Infernal ghosts, and Hellish furies, round (shriek’d,
Environ'd thee, some howl’d, some yell’d, some
Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou
Satst unappall'd in calm and sinless peace. 425
Thus pass’d the night so foul, till morning fair
Came forth with pilgrim steps in amice gray,
Who with her radiant finger stillid the roar
Ofthunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the winds,
And grisly spectres, which the Fiend had rais'd 430
To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
And now the sun with more effectual beams
Had cheard the face of earth, and dry'd the wet
From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds,
Who all things now behold more frelhandgreen, 435
After a night of storm so ruinous,
Clear’d up their choicest notes in bush and spray
To gratulate the sweet return of morn;


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Nor yet amidst this joy and brightest morn
Was absent, after all his mischief done, 440
The prince of darkness, glad would also seem
Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came,
Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
Rather by this his last affront resolv’d,
Desp'rate of better course, to vent his rage, 445
And mad despite to be so oft repell’d.
Him walking on a funny hill he found,
Back’d on the north and west by a thick wood;
Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape,
And in a careless mood thus to him said. 450

Fair morning yet betides thee, Son of God,
After a dismal night; I heard the wrack
As earth and sky would mingle; but myself (them
Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear
As dang'rous to the pillar'd frame of Heaven, 455
Or to the earth's dark basis underneath,
Are to the main as inconsiderable,
And harmless, if not wholesome as a sneeze
To man's less universe, and soon are gone;
Yet as being oft times noxious where they light 460
On man, beast, plant, wastful and turbulent,
Like turbulencies in th' affairs of men,
Over whose heads they roar, and seem to point,
They oft fore-signify and threaten ill:
This tempest at this desert most was bent; 465
Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'ft.

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